July 23, 2024


Than a Food Fitter

How Does Grubhub Work? Here’s What You Need to Know

3 min read


  • Grubhub is a food delivery service that serves about 32 million customers and 320,000 restaurants.   
  • The delivery service also partners with “gig economy” contract drivers who get paid a small fee and an optional tip for delivering food from the restaurant to the customer. 
  • Here is how Grubhub works for the restaurant, driver, and customer.

Grubhub is a popular food delivery service that has been around since 2004. According to the company, its service processes more than 745,000 orders each day from more than 320,000 restaurant partners, and it serves about 32 million active customers.

But Grubhub has a lot of moving parts — it doesn’t simply work with customers, but also partners with restaurants and manages fleets of local drivers to make the deliveries. 

How Grubhub works for customers

Customers are at the core of the Grubhub business model; they use a mobile app (iOS or Android) or the Grubhub website to place orders and make payments. 

After using the app or website to create an account and enter payment information, customers can browse or search for restaurants in the local area and then place an order by selecting items and adding them to a cart. They then check out, select a payment method, and track the status of the order until it’s delivered. Grubhub generally charges a delivery fee in addition to what the restaurant charges.   

the grubhub app on ios

The Grubhub app makes it easy for customers to order food and have it delivered or prepared for pickup.

Dave Johnson

How Grubhub works for restaurants

Of course, Grubhub depends on a network of restaurants. In turn, Grubhub extends the reach of restaurants by allowing businesses to offer delivery even if the restaurant traditionally only offered dine-in service. Partnering also means that restaurants can use Grubhub as a delivery service rather than hiring and managing its own fleet of delivery personnel. 

Restaurants can get started with Grubhub by applying on the Grubhub for Restaurants page of the Grubhub website. Once accepted, Grubhub works with restaurants to implement their menu, pricing, and other details in the app and website. 

The Grubhub website in Chrome

To partner with Grubhub, restaurants complete a form on the Grubhub website.

Dave Johnson

When a customer places an order, it appears on a dashboard in the restaurant’s Grubhub app. The restaurant confirms the order and then prepares the food for delivery. When the driver arrives, the food is handed over and the restaurant’s part of the process is complete. 

Grubhub takes a portion of the restaurant’s revenue to enable this workflow: a marketing and processing fee plus a percentage of the cost of the order. Because Grubhub orders cost the restaurant more, many restaurants have a different set of prices for online delivery than if you dine in.  

How Grubhub works for drivers

Driving for Grubhub is a part of the modern “gig economy,” and that means you can choose to work as a Grubhub driver as a main source of income or to supplement another job. Drivers can get started by applying on the Grubhub for Drivers page of the Grubhub website. To qualify as a driver, you need at a minimum to have a car (or, in some locales, a bike is acceptable), a driver’s license and

auto insurance

(or a state ID if you’re using a bike), and a smartphone. 

The Grubhub Drivers app in iOS

After starting the application process on the Grubhub website, you’ll complete it in the Grubhub mobile app for drivers.

Dave Johnson

Drivers get training from Grubhub and the ability to set their own hours. Once on the job, drivers are notified using the app when an order is available from a nearby restaurant. The driver claims the delivery and goes to the restaurant, waits for the food if necessary, and then delivers it to the customer by following the driving directions in the app. In addition to the basic delivery fee, drivers are also eligible to receive tips that customers can add to the payment details in the app. 


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